Racism is a public health emergency. Black and Brown people across the U.S. and in our community are suffering and dying due to racism.
The City of Takoma Park took the groundbreaking step in 2017 of adopting a Racial Equity Initiative, which launched the City’s racial equity work. Since then, racial equity considerations have taken a firm root in more of the City’s decision-making and planning processes.
However, there is much more that needs to be done. We need to make changes that will improve racial equity and justice in our community for the long-term. These include:
- Systematize and regularize the way racial equity is incorporated into our governance processes:
- Improve and refine the City’s Racial Equity Initiative through a process of active consultation that gives power to Black and Brown residents to call for change and prioritize their needs
- Develop a system for analyzing racial equity impacts in budget decision processes, since many racial inequities occur as a result of the way that funds are allocated
- Take action to address policing reform
- Make changes to remove barriers and ensure Black and Brown residents are a real part of decision-making processes:
- Change committee structure and reduce barriers so that City committees and community input systems are representative and inclusive of Black and Brown residents
- Provide new supports for Black and Brown residents to run for office and be a part of city committees and processes
- Learn and innovate:
- Systematize and provide more tools to City staff to be able to create meaningful and detailed racial equity considerations statements on Council meeting agendas
- Learn from the work City staff members have been doing through the Council of Governments’ Government Alliance on Racial Equity inaugural program by implementing changes and recommendations based on their work in this cohort
- Make some difficult decisions and have open and honest conversations about changes that need to be made